The Bing and Twitter symbiosis
introduced in 2009 is on the verge of its next evolutionary step, designed to make real-time content an integral part of the searching experiences of the Microsoft decision engine. Lawrence Kim
, from the Bing Social Search team, notes that new features are currently being test-driven by a select pool of customers, and that plans are already in motion to roll out the new additions to Bing soon. The software giant’s search engine will deliver even more information accompanying the results returned to user queries, through the integration of social search data.
Microsoft has already been tapping Twitter for what it refers to as real-time data, and the Redmond company is simply expanding on the work already done to embrace tweets, and offer them alongside traditional Bing results. Users stand to benefit from not only being served additional data, but also having access to real-time information, without the lag added by the filter of traditional media.
“At Bing, we analyze what topics are generating the most interest on Twitter to bring you the latest and most interesting content,” Kim states. One of the features currently being tested involves the introduction of Social Results for queries, namely the inclusion of tweets. At the same time, another feature for which Twitter was tapped as a data source is designed to produce a list with the most popular shared links for navigational queries.
“We are currently testing these features with a small subset of our users and queries – so you may or may not see it appearing on your search results page. We plan to make the feature available to our users in the US within a short period. So please keep an eye out for our social results feature - you will start seeing it on your search results page very soon,” Kim adds. “Last November, we announced the launch of bing.com/twitter which pulls in real-time content from the Twitter community. We are now incorporating the same Twitter data into our main Bing search experience.”
The promise from Microsoft is that Bing has been optimized to index and return real-time content from Twitter in the results in a matter of seconds after the tweets have been published. “From people on the ground tweeting about what’s happening around them to users sharing interesting news links while browsing at home, the Twitterati can be significantly faster than traditional media outlets in picking up information on breaking events. Further, the Twitterati also picks up information that the traditional media outlets often ignore – such as the latest viral video being shared online,” Kim explains.